Lure of bounty fails to help FBI hunt for bombers
Wednesday 24 May 1995
Bounty hunters and private investigators, lured by a $2m (pounds 1.2m) reward, have joined FBI agents in the hunt for the elusive "John Doe 2", the unidentified suspect believed to have carried out the bombing in Oklahoma City with Timothy McVeigh, the first man arrested and charged.
Since Mr McVeigh's capture, within hours of the explosion that killed 168 people, the impression is that the hundreds of agents investigating the theory that he was part of a larger conspiracy have been beating their heads against a brick wall.
No more intensive search has been conducted in US police history. But, as a source close to the case said, the more time passes, the colder the trail gets.
Exasperated federal investigators have pondered whether John Doe 2 died in the explosion, whether he is a mistakenly identified 12-year-old boy, or whether he exists at all. They have received 35,000 leads following the release of a sketch of the suspect, but their toil has yielded little.
Mr McVeigh has been under 24-hour surveillance from a television camera in his cell since the day of his arrest. But he has provided no clues as to whether he was working with anyone else.
The second man arrested and charged in connection with the bombing, Mr McVeigh's old army friend Terry Nichols, is alleged to have implicated Mr McVeigh. According to an FBI affidavit, Mr Nichols said Mr McVeigh had told him "something big" was going to happen a week before the bombing.
But, as his lawyer has pointed out, Mr Nichols was at his home in Kansas when the explosion happened. The case against Mr Nichols appears to rest on the discovery of anti-government propaganda, chemicals and explosive components at his home.
In a damaging blow to the FBI investigation, Mr Nichols' brother, James, was released from jail without bail on Monday after four weeks under arrest. A judge threw out arguments by federal prosecutors that James Nichols, who was brought to court in leg-irons, was involved in the bombing. "There is not an iota of evidence that he is a danger to others," the judge said of Mr Nichols, described by neighbours as a hard-working farmer.
One other individual questioned by police has tightened the noose around Mr McVeigh but yielded nothing new. Michael Fortier told investigators that he and Mr McVeigh had travelled to Oklahoma City and gone inside the Alfred Murrah building one week before the explosion. The plan, according to Mr Fortier, had been to check out the layout.
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...